The Government is set to announce £10m in extra funding and reveal plans for a second wave of so-called ‘Portas pilots’ tomorrow, in its latest move to save the nation’s embattled high streets.
The Grocer has learned the funding will be pumped into towns suffering from the particularly severe problems with shop vacancies, and will be over and above money set aside on the back of the pilot areas being helped under the Mary Portas Review.
The funding boost follows criticism that the £1m initially put up for grabs for towns bidding to become ‘Portas pilots’ will not be enough to make significant impact on the nationwide problems facing the high street.
Towns have until tomorrow to bid for 12 awards of about £100,000 towards regeneration projects in the initial round, with more than 300 towns believed to be in the running.
However, a second wave of pilots will be revealed in three months’ time, say sources involved in the project.